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New Jersey Pension Fund Amendment (2010)

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The New Jersey Pension Fund Amendment did not qualify on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of New Jersey as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure would have mandated that the state make annual payments to the pension fund, which has not happened in New Jersey since 2004. Both local and state governments would have to pay no less than 14.2 percent of pension obligations during the 2011 fiscal year. The 14.2 percent increase would happen on an annual basis until 2017 when it's projected that governments would totally cover the entire amount of the pension fund. The proposed constitutional amendment was part of a pension reform package that was considered in the state legislature during the 2010 legislative session.[1][2]

Path to the ballot

In New Jersey, the state legislature must approve a proposed amendment by a supermajority vote of 60% but the same amendment can also qualify for the ballot if successive sessions of the New Jersey State Legislature approve it by a simple majority.

The Senate version of the Pension Fund Amendment, known as SCR 1, was approved in the Senate Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee by a unanimous 5-0 vote on February 18, 2010[3]. The bill was approved by a 29-7 vote on March 22, 2010, in the New Jersey Senate, with four Senators not voting[4]. The Senate passed the 60 percent threshold mandated by law. However, the amendment did not had a vote scheduled in the Assembly before the August 2, 2010, deadline to qualify a measure on the November 2010 ballot[5][6].

Ballot question

This is the ballot question as follows[7]:

Shall the amendment to Article VIII, Section II of the New Jersey Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, requiring the State to pay each year, beginning July 1, 2011, the full amount of the contribution it is required to pay, as calculated by actuaries, to any pension plan operated by the State for public employees, and requiring the contribution to be computed by actuaries based on an annual valuation of the assets and liabilities of each plan, except that the State could comply with this requirement by making a payment of at least 1/7th of the full contribution in the first year and increasing its payment by at least an additional 1/7th in each of the six years thereafter, be approved?

See also

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References